There are two times during the year that seem to affect me the most regarding living here in Canada. For those of you who may not know, I was born and raised in the United States. More specifically, in the Chicago area. I lived the first 42 years of my life there and I have many ties and fond memories. About 12 years ago, I decided it was time for a change and the time was just right for me to move here to Nova Scotia. I am not going to go into details here, as it is a long story, but overall, I am very happy and enjoy having two countries to call ‘home’. After all, we are all North Americans, aren’t we?
For the most part, I am very happy here. After some rough patches, I have settled into a good life that is filled with love, creativity, and peace. It doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes miss my old neighborhood, as both of my grown children and their families are there. But I seem to feel it more both on the 4th of July (America’s Independence Day) and on Thanksgiving. It is on those two days that I am most aware that I am no longer in my home country.
For the 4th of July, we usually have a Canada Day celebration around that time. It isn’t always on the same day, but it is close. Close enough to ‘feel’ that I am celebrating for both countries. It kind of melds together.
For Thanksgiving, though, it is a different story. Here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October. That is something I never realized until I moved here. The first year when someone mentioned Thanksgiving being then, I thought that they had too much Captain Morgan. It seemed so out of place.
But it came and it went that first year and it felt incredibly odd to me. Oh – I was up for a good meal, for sure. I celebrated the Canadian Thanksgiving with enthusiasm that first year. But when it really hit me hard was at the end of November. That last Thursday of the month came and went just like any other Thursday. No parade. No football. No turkey. Just business as usual.
I felt incredibly homesick.
Since that first year, I decided to do something about it. Since I was fortunate enough to call two countries home, there was no reason in the world that I couldn’t make my own celebration late in November and have my own (second) Thanksgiving here myself. And that I did.
Each year, on the last Thursday of November, I make my own turkey with the trimmings and celebrate. I have done this with a house full of my Canadian friends and I have done it with only me and my kitties, and just about every combination in between. After all – with all I have to be grateful for, it didn’t seem inappropriate in the least. Today is no exception.
I am taking this day to reflect on all the good in my life. It will be a quiet day with just Keith, myself and the cats. Keith’s mom is home from the hospital, but recovering nicely at home. We are grateful for that. I have a small turkey and will make that with stuffing, cranberries and green bean casserole (one of my favorites!) and it will be a wonderful and low-key day for me and Keith. I will get some drawing in, too, I think and I will also work on my sloth pastel drawing.
Here is the progress I made since last time.
The branch was a beast to get looking right, but I think I have it where I want it. I am good on the eye, but the face is nowhere near done. These are just the under-layers. You can see the comparison to the (somewhat crappy) reference photo I have:
It is coming . . .
I hope I have a bit of time to work on it later. But drawing new designs will come first (along with cooking, of course!)
I also wanted to mention that Keith has two new pattern designs available on our site. His first one is SLDK696 – “Do All Things Through Christ” word art (simple version.)
The second is a more detailed version of the same phrase, with two layout options. (SLDK695 – I Can Do All Things Through Christ)
Both are really nice, I think. 🙂
As I look around me while I am writing. I can’t help but be thankful. We live in a nice, warm and safe home, have good friends, and wonderful families. What more could I ask for?
My three companions are happy as well. There is Coco:
Richard on the daybed (with his “Kitty”, of course):
And my ‘Executive Director of Operations’ – Pancakes:
As you can see, he still has possession of my nice chair. It has been over a month now and I think getting it back is a lost cause. Oh well – as long as he is happy. 🙂
I wish all of you and your families a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving. Even though it is “just another day”, I don’t think I need a specific “day” to be grateful, as I truly am grateful every single day of my life. I know I am very, very fortunate.
Enjoy your day – no matter where you live.
Happy Thursday to you all!